San Francisco- MUSTS

Old Feb 17th, 2012, 07:18 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 61
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
San Francisco- MUSTS

Headed to San Fran for only 4 days with my 16 y/o daughter mid April. Need all kinds of suggestions. Best area to stay in that will give us walking options. Favorite eat like a local restuarants. Great shopping, and where to get the best views of the classics. Little about us...we are New Yorkers and like some luxury, are also pretty outdoorsy. We are foodies, but not a snobby way, more interested in local fare. Kind of anti chain restaurant. Love to find hidden treasures in artsy stores, as well soak up city history. Where do we start.....
vbarone is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2012, 07:49 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,391
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are so many nice hotels and excellent locations. One that I love is the Hotel Vitale, which is across from the Bay and The Ferry Building where I would go for breakfast or lunch each day if I could. Also within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf, excellent restaurants. Great views! easy transportation. a very fun spot. Have a blast! Good luck with your plans!
cabovacation is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2012, 11:18 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are lots of threads on here about San Francisco. Type San Francisco into the search box and do some reading and get a general idea what's there and already asked and answered.

What price hotel, for starters?
DebitNM is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 04:56 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We used to live in the Marina and always loved Chestnut and Union Streets, which are great for strolling. There are a number of smaller motels on/around Lombard St. - on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge - and there is also good bus service from there if you don't want to drive.

Just googled this page which has some info.

Alternatively - staying by Union Square puts you in the middle of it all, so to speak. Or - you could also stay down by Fisherman's Wharf/Ghiradelli Square - or as suggested above - by the Ferry Bld.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 04:59 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops. didn't paste: My bad - and there are plenty of dining options on Union St and along Chestnut, as well as all over "Bagdhad by the Bay", as noted columnist (may he RIP) Herb Caen used to call SF.

http://www.sftravel.com/bgt.html
Tomsd is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 05:04 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And another nice walk is along the Marina Green (close to Chestnut St) and you have a great view of the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and look across the bay to Sausalitio, etc. Actually - taking the ferry over to Sausalito is a fun trip.

And while strolling along the Green - take in the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts, built in the early 1900's for an internatinal exposition or some such. http://www.palaceoffinearts.org/Welcome.html
Tomsd is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 05:11 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Uno Mas: If you like art and also they have a great view looking back at the Golden Gate Bridge - get out to the Palace of Legion of Honor. http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/

And the De Young museum in Golden Gate Park is interesting, as is the nearby Japanese Tea Garden, where you can get a good snack/meal. http://deyoung.famsf.org/

All great places to stroll, and the Brunch/view at the Cliff House - out by the Palace of Legion of Honor - is also cool. It overlooks the old Sutro baths. http://www.cliffhouse.com/
Tomsd is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 06:43 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here are my suggestions

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...mendations.cfm

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 08:55 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,218
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All of the sightseeing suggestions are great - I would also recommend the Vitale for the neighborhood - it's away from the hubbub of Union Square (although that would be my second choice) but in a vibrant non-residential neighborhood (it's a block from my office). Right across the street from the Bay (great for walking or jogging). Easy walking distance many places (within a 20-minute walk of Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, AT&T Park, Chinatown, North Beach) and very very easy access to transportation.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 01:39 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,218
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Mark Hopkins (and the other hotels on Nob Hill - Fairmont, Stanford Cout and Huntington) are fine hotels, but understand taut they're at the top of a very steep hill This is where you stay if you want great views, but not where you should stay if you want to walk out the front door and "be somewhere". Nob Hill is a very exclusive residential neighborhood. Think upper east side on top of a steep hill.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 02:03 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 61
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all... I see there are a few Kimptons in town. Any opinion about any of those properties?
vbarone is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 03:26 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,218
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Monaco is a great hotel in a very good location.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 06:52 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Visit Alcatraz! Get your tickets IN ADVANCE! I have seen it where it's been sold out.

Fisherman's wharf is great for a lunch / dinner and to walk around.

Ghiradelli Square - some shopping, food, etc.

Take a trolly ride!

Golden Gate Bridge and Park! If you want to venture out further, and have a car rental, you could drive to and over the bridge to the other side. Fantastic views back at the city. Muir Woods is nice if you like outdoors.

Sausalito - you could drive over or take a ferry from Fisherman's wharf. It's a great little town on the bay across from SF.

Chinatown - it is HUGE here! Great food and some shops.

If you have a car - you can do the 49 Mile Drive - takes you all around SF and has some great views of different parts of the city.

Coit Tower - you can climb to the top - again - great views.

Another outdoor area we enjoyed was the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Agree with staying in the Union Square or Nob Hill area! I would not stay in Fisherman's Wharf.

We LOVE SF! Hope you enjoy it!

8-)
cwojo99 is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2012, 07:22 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,867
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check out the dozens of FREE walking tours given by docents of the San Francisco City Library:

http://www.sfcityguides.org/
DebitNM is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2012, 07:53 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>Fisherman's wharf is great for a lunch / dinner and to walk around.
StuDudley is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2012, 09:02 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We found this book useful in exploring neighborhoods on our last trip to San Francisco. The stairways it recommends are one aspect, but being in the neighborhood where the stairs are located gets one to explore parts of the general area as well. Highly recommend this book.

http://sfstairwaywalks.weebly.com/index.html
succulent is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2012, 01:07 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,218
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I live here, and I think that book is great!
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 09:48 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,063
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
>>I see there are a few Kimptons in town. Any opinion about any of those properties?
obxgirl is online now  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 11:55 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I absolutely love San Francisco. I live around an hour and a half drive away so my husband and I go up a lot. I agree with many on this thread that Union Square is a great place to stay. You can walk to Chinatown, Market Street, and North Beach (Italian part of town). It also is easy to catch the Cable Car and other public transportation. The Embarcadero area is also a good location with the ferry building right in front of you with the coastline across the street. Plus Union Square is very walkable.

In terms of hotels, I've never stayed at Kimpton's Palomar, but I've heard great things about it. The St. Francis right in Union Square is one of my favorites. It's now a Westin, but it's a grand old hotel and the location is perfect. The Galleria near Union Square is a nice boutique hotel that we liked. We've also stayed at all the Marriott's in town. They were all fine and some are right around Union Square. If you find a hotel South of Market, try to stay out of anything higher than 5th Avenue and be within that first block south of Market Street to avoid hard core junkies and unfortunate mentally ill folks.

For things to do, here are some of our favorites;

-Catch the Cable Car at Powell and Market and catch the Powell-Hyde line. We like to go at night. The lines are much shorter. Make sure you sit on the outside on the right side (or the side that faces you as you get on the car) for incredible views of the Bay. Ride the line until it ends right at Ghiradelli Square. Walk through the chocolate shop (they give you a free sample) and get in the ice cream line if you'd like. You can take the same line back, but this time make sure you're on the opposite side of the car to get those great views again.

-Foodie Paradise - Ferry Building - Tons of food artisans have their specialties out for sampling. Cow Girl Creamery, Acme Bread, olive oil, chocolate, and other amazing food items. If you go here at the beginning of your trip you can buy munchies for the rest of your trip. It's also a beautiful old building that is interesting by itself. Great views of the Bay and the Bay Bridge behind the building and also great restaurants. The Slanted Door is awesome

-Grant Street - Chinatown - Tea Tasting- Just strolling along this street is an adventure. Lots of tacky shops, but some great gems as well. Snow Garden is a great hole in the wall restaurant that makes great Chinese food that's right no Grant Street. Also, as you're walking down Grant from Union Square, look to your left and you'll see pedestrian alleys with names like Waverly and Ross. These are great alleys to explore. They may seem seedy, but no worries, you're safe. Ross Alley also has the Chinese Fortune Cookie Factory to visit. You can watch people make fortune cookies, try some samples right off the line (warm and yummy) and buy some cookies at wholesale prices. You'll also find some authentic shops along the alleys. There are also tons of places to sample Chinese loose leaf tea. If you see a tea shop and there is an open seat at the counter, sit down and you'll be treated to all sorts of authentic Chinese tea. It's usually a lot of fun and you'll meet people from all over the world.

Lefty O'Doul's in Union Square is a great place to grab lunch. It's steeped in tradition and has been around for decades. You grab a tray, and point out what you'd like from giant turkey sandwiches made of turkey roasted at Lefty's (no lunch meat here), big bowls of soup or chili, salads, and so on. The prices are great too. Tons of baseball memorabilia on the walls along with celebrities who eat there.

Basta Pasta in North Beach on Vallejo Street is one of my favorites for Italian food.

-F Line - You will notice old style street cars tooling around San Francisco. The F line has restored cars from cities all over the world that harken back to the 20's to the 50's. Aside from how cool the street cars are themselves, the F Line runs on a loop that will take you down Market (right next Union Square), Fisherman's Wharf, and the Embarcadero. It's a fun way to get around these locations.

-There is a little street car museum at the Embarcadero that includes a lot of San Francisco history. It's a fun museum to check out and it's free.

-The Cable Car Museum it cool too. You can see the cables at work and once again it accompanies a lot of San Francisco history.

-Poncho Villa Taqueria in the Mission District is absolutely awesome. Giant burritos filled with amazing ingredients that you pick out in a cafeteria style line. You can take Bart to this restaurant and it's right next door to the station.

-Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. You can take the bus to the Marin side of the bridge and walk back towards San Francisco. It's a great walk with amazing views. There is also a Civil War era fort right underneath the bridge called Fort Point. It's an amazing place with great views of the San Francisco skyline and the bay. It's almost always breezy here so take a thick sweatshirt and a hat.

Obviously there is much more to do and see in SF. I hope you like some of these ideas.

Have fun!!

There of course is so much more, but I hope this gives you some good ideas.
MsSantaCruz is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 01:39 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,598
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
www.belden-place.com
suze is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:56 AM.